Policy Documents

Live posts from the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change hosted by The Heartland Institute

The Chilling Effect –
March 9, 2009

One of this morning’s speakers was Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Some highlights:

Myron Ebell: The Politics of Capping Carbon

  • He noted that at the recent “global warming” rally that was snowed over in DC, a Greenpeace truck had a solar panel that was covered in snow so the group had to turn to a generator - we wonder if the lesson will reach the proper decision makers
  • Ebell sought to enlist the audience “in a war over whether to introduce energy rationing”
  • The debate over rationing goes back to the 1970's - it is, he says, the key while “global warming is just the pretext”
  • He noted the irony of the Obama administration appointing a science advisor who has advocated for massive de-industrialization
  • He encouraged the audience that the fight was by no means lost, especially because advocates of energy rationing are not well-liked by many Americans (“Thank God tat Al gore is the leader of their side” he said)
  • Cap-and-trade advocates didn’t really pick up many votes in the recent election, and many middle-America Senators who may support progressive agendas elsewhere cannot wreck their state’s economy by supporting such a plan
  • His main advice: ask your congressman, “why do you want to raise my energy prices?: (sounds like good advice to us)

J. Scott Armstrong: WWF Smackdown!

In his discussion on today’s Climatology panel, J. Scott Armstrong talked about the curious polar bear campaign by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). We’ve all seen the Noah Wyle TV ads ad nauseum which implore:

“Polar bears are on their way to extinction. If we don’t act now, most will die in our children’s lifetime. But you can help change that. Call now and join the Wildlife Rescue team…If we don’t act now, it could be too late for the polar bear.”

There’s just one problem, there’s no real basis for these claim as Armstrong notes…


Chris Horner: How To Stop Kyoto (Or The Next Version)

Some highlights from Chris Horner’s brief but impactful speech this morning focusing on the Kyoto treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Horner argues this debate has never been about emissions; it’s about bringing our lifestyle “into check”
  • Kyoto will never get 2/3 of Senate votes so proponents are looking for ways around the treaty rules in our Constitution - essentially suspending democracy
  • One thought is to simply call the “treaty” an “executive agreement” that does not need the full level of Senate support owed to real international agreements
  • The problem, Horner says, is that there is only one way to block this: oppose fast-track authority to negotiate a treaty that will harm America’s economy

Marc Morano On Global Warming Politics

This morning’s provocative session at the Heartland Institute’s conference on climate change included a rousing speech from Marc Morano, an aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe. Morano’s discussion focused on the consensus-busting questions from the scientific community and the potential policy disasters flowing from global warming alarmists. Click here to find some key quotes and arguments ...


Carbon Cappers: Missing The Mark(ey) On Cap-and-Trade

Sometimes you come across a quote that makes you do a Scooby Doo double take. This morning’s spit take comes courtesy of a leading carbon capper, courtesy of the New York Times:

Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, is leading a special committee writing the House version of climate change legislation. He voted for the 1993 energy tax bill, which is known - not fondly - as the B.T.U. tax, for British thermal unit, a measure of energy output. Mr. Markey has since become a faithful follower of the cap-and-trade school.

“I am aware of the economic arguments for a carbon tax,” Mr. Markey said, “but politics is the art of the possible, and I think cap-and-trade is possible.”

He added: “Somebody once told me that a smart man learns from his mistakes but a wise man learns from others’ mistakes.”

Umm. M’kay.

Has anyone out there been following Europe’s troubles with cap-and-trade? And we want to follow their mistakes because we think it’s possible to make the same mistake here?

Like, zoinks!